Best Bass under $200

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Sultan Of Swing, May 31, 2002.

  1. Sultan Of Swing

    Sultan Of Swing

    May 31, 2002
    Hi Guy's

    im new to this board and was after your thought's and views.

    I've dabbled in the Guitar scene for years and realised my calling to bass when someone told me I play Bass on My Guiatar.

    Rather than start off ona major pricey model to practsie on im after an in expensive practise model to learn on.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    the essex BG150 jazz bass is 159 bucks, and from what i hear is very nice. stock jazz bass stuff so any Jbass replacement (pickups, bridge, pickguard, etc) will work on this (which will be good as you get better)
  3. Look for an OLP Stingray. $200 gets you a bare-bones bass, yeah, but it's more than usable. Avoid the 5-string version, though.
  4. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    Charleroi, Belgium
    at 200 bucks i said the less worst than the best bass

    Did you try Squiers?
  5. Ibanez_4_Life

    Ibanez_4_Life Guest

    May 31, 2002
    Silverdale, Wa
    Ibanez GSR200, great bass. (Id know, I own one :))
  6. I second the motion for Squiers, and add a vote to Yamaha.
  7. Squier Affinity P-Bass. Great bass for the money really, and considering it goes for somewhere between $140 and $170, you could toss some better pickups in there, or throw on a BadAssII.
  8. the japanese squiers were great stuff, i played one a while back, but the ones out now really suck. go to a music store and try em out though, you might like one.

    but i highly suggest the Essex BG150. its a great bass, not just for beginners, but for a backup, or fulltime bass. i have it, and my friends say that they love the tone and growl, then you can fix it up if ya wanted, you dont need to of course.
  9. I've got a 96 MIK Squier P, and it's my most played bass (over a Yamaha BBG5A and a Fender P clone). I'm really looking at the Essex basses as my next buy. I've heard good things about them, and they are very easy on the budget. Check out for the essex stuff. For $139 you can get a nice flamed (or quilted, I can't recall right now) maple Jazz bass. I've got serious GAS to grab one and modify it.
  10. rmerritt


    Apr 10, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Definitely check out the Essex basses from Rondomusic. I purchased their standard jbass.
    I immediately paid a luthier about 40 bucks for a setup and it plays and sounds great. Real good tone and seems to stay in tune. Beautiful finish blemishes. Price tag with shipping was about 150. They shipped on a Monday and it arrived on Wednesday. When you visit the website, you'll see that they have a great selection of very inexpensive basses. I have played the Squiers in the store and I think the Essex basses are a much better value. Good luck!
  11. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I'd look for a used MIM Fender, or a new OLP...
  12. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I just got back from Rondo Music. I read the posts and slowly realized that they are 15 minutes away so I went. I got the Essex 5 string, w/ "pick feathering" damage on the finish, for $100. It looks to me like the body wasn't sanded very well before they put their light finish coat on, so there are some imperfections. There are multiple other flaws, but this is a very good bass for the bottom of the price range. I paid almost twice as much for a used Ibanez GSR 205 2 years ago and this blows it away. Not in close-up looks, because my SX is a 2nd, but definitely in tone and B string. The Ibanez flopped, the SX does not, it has power in the B. I played several Brices too. They were a bit better, less noisy.

    I also tried several P and Jazz copies -- I would get one if I needed another 4 string. All have multiple small flaws, such as glue on the side of the nut or cheapo pickguard screws, but you can get an ash bodied maple necked block inlayed jazz copy for around $150! Almost all played well for this price range. Almost all were noisy when close to the amp.

    I played the OLP MM copy at GC last weekend. IMO the the essex is better. And cheaper.

    There are lots of other essex threads, check 'em out! Jon
  13. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Okay, I've been reading about these Essex basses for a while now and I'm wondering - what gives??!

    150 smacks for what sounds like a pretty solid Jazz knockoff? Do they buy these things in bulk (by the thousands?!?) from some impoverished island somewhere?
  14. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    They're made in China. That store imports a lot of stuff from China, maybe they get a volume discount? I also bought a Chinese 6 space rack from them for $80. It is deeper than my skb (nonroto, 2 spacer was $110 on sale) amp rack, and has back rack rails. Hardware on both seems the same. The Rondo plastic seems slightly more brittle than my skb, so if I attacked each with a hammer, I might break the cheap one 5 minutes before the skb. I probably won't ... :) Jon
  15. Actually, from my dealings with Kurt at Rondo, I've learned they actually import the parts and assemble the instruments here in the US. That's a twist on the usual import arrangement. It seems to work for them though.

    I've got 2 of the 5 string necks that I bought seperately from Rondo for a couple of projects. I seem to have gotten samples from the 2 ends of Rondo's quality range. One is near perfect (and I massaged it further) and the other is certainly usable but second between them. But even the worst one would be acceptable on an instrument of this price. I've since tired of the 5 string idea and these will be going out soon I hope. But using these necks and the P bass I dissected as samples, I can say easily that you won't find a good playable instrument cheaper but you'll find a lot that aren't the value.
  16. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    It doesn't really matter where they're from, we're all agreeing they're a very good bass under $200.

    The sticker on the back of the headstock says made in China and the site says

    "Since about 1985, Rondo Music has built these custom brand instruments to our specifications based on our customers' requests. The instruments are imported from a variety of countries including China, Taiwan, and Korea."

    When, Fender sends parts to Mexico to be assembled, that makes it a MIM guitar, right? Does Hambone's info mean that my SX is MIA? Wow!

    :D Jon
  17. my first bass was a IbanezGSR205, and I thought and was told many times that this was a very good starter bass. I was happy with it.....I moved on though. (I got myself a RIC, hehehe)
  18. Jiimy


    Mar 3, 2002
    Athens AL, USA
    Look for used stuff, and look at pawn shops.